Tag Archives: Brian Weitz

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Animal Collective Stretch the Limits at Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday

May 24th, 2017

Animal Collective – Brooklyn Steel – May 23, 2017


We have arrived at the stage where there is absolutely no telling what you’re going to get at an Animal Collective show. Essentially, they are the computer-generation equivalent of the Grateful Dead and Phish when it comes to live-performance unpredictability. Impulse and whim stir together with rote knowledge of every song in their nearly 15 years of recordings that have traveled through woods and rocketed into the space age. Their familiarity with one another’s moves from playing on- and offstage is such that the holy triumvirate of Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist can wander off trail to blaze another, then find their way back without a compass. The collective experience akin to being tugged into velvet, open-lake waters, a first time water skier on their rippling currents of electronic sound.

Last night, Animal Collective swam about the confines of Brooklyn Steel like betas in a fish bowl, stretching the limits. Releasing a deluge of strawberry electro jams that oozed outward like they’d been left out in the sun, the band treated the opportunity as kids would a new neighborhood playground, sonically leaping and bounding and beckoning others to join in the frolicking. Over the course of the run of shows since releasing last year’s Painting With, it’s been each member at his control station of sound backed by a drummer. The character of their live performances, without fourth member Deakin, has then taken on the more cubic and elastic tone of Painting With, which didn’t feature Deakin.

From the quicksand of cosmic slop Animal Collective create emerged the type A–personality bounce of “FloriDada” and “Hocus Pocus,” and staying in that key, the wild bunch stretched out their legs on the subsequent The Painters EP by hurling “Peacemaker” into the room to bounce about in a manner resembling Atari’s Breakout. Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s vocal interplay formed a snake dance on “Lying in the Grass” before the gang took us back to older fare like “Summertime Clothes” and “Guys Eyes.” Songs melted into one another as an up-tempo trance-hop version of “Bees” spread over the sizeable room. On some of the set’s jumpier tunes, Tare came forth to dance loosely along with his animalistic vocal calls. When Animal Collective returned for the encore, it was to extend the evening for as long as they could hold their breath under their water world of experiments. Thanking friends and family for coming out to see them at a new playground, the band plunged back in, to the delight of all. On this night, Brooklyn Steel was where the wild things were. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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Animal Collective Deliver in Spectacular Form at Terminal 5

November 3rd, 2016

Animal Collective – Terminal 5 – November 2, 2016

Animal Collective – Terminal 5 – November 2, 2016
There’s only one thing that could have competed with the Cubs finally winning the World Series (in extra innings of the seventh game, no less) last night and that was seeing Animal Collective do a serious deep dive at Terminal 5. For one thing, there’s the instinctively staggered vocal interplay between Avey Tare and Panda Bear, whose bird calls from an alternate universe boomerang in and out of one another’s in transfixing patterns. For another, there’s the fortitude of recreating and reshaping their recorded material with peerless imagination—and there are like nine other things that leave you speechless, a happy party to the wild rumpus that gradually builds into a human wave.

Terminal 5 turned into an aquarium of the rolling, swimming Animal Collective faithful last night, an ideal setting for the almost unfathomable set that drew broadly from their discography of distinct aural treasures now 13 years in the making. The wonderfully wacky impressionist art onstage immediately let you know who you were there to see, and older songs from masterpiece albums like Sung Tongs, Feels and Merriweather Post Pavilion filtered in to the set list. It all played like a warped journey into the group’s projected creativity, marvelous departures that danced and floated like a laundry line of sheets in the winds of their fancy. Particularly entrancing were long, winding plays of “Loch Raven,” which sent all into dreamland, and an electro-dub-warped variation of the originally acoustic “Kids on Holiday.” It’s really up in the air with a live Animal Collective set: There’s no telling from which corner of an album or obscure EP they’ll pull a song to play—or how the version will unfold and materialize.

The crowd was putty in Animal Collective’s hands by the time “FloriDada” hopped into the fold, sheets of vibrant light momentarily revealing a sea of swirling bodies. Through an expansive and extended performance, Avey Tare was the vocal intermediary, periodically checking in and engaging with playful banter. And when the band answered the enthusiastic roar for an encore, he let out a giggle of surprise and humility at the prolonged cheers. He, Geologist and Panda Bear delivered in spectacular form. Only when experiencing a show so voluminous do you recognize how much it transcends ordinary concert experiences. Expectations were toyed with and convention scattered like puzzle pieces and then placed in new order to reveal the land of their design, where colors and characters are at once deceptive and familiar. —Charles Steinberg | @Challyolly

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com